Divided into two halves following the Korean War in the fifties, the Korean peninsula is home to the communist DPRK (North Korea) and the Republic of Korea in the south. While the North is considered very much closed, the South has a bustling economy, home to internationally successful brands such as Samsung and Hyundai.
With professional Korean translators based directly in-market, ALM provides outstanding translations for all applications. Our Korean translation service and team are quality-checked, rated and monitored by our own linguists to ensure a consistently high level of quality for all work produced.
In addition to Korean translation services, ALM also offers ad hoc and conference interpreting, videos and voice-overs, transcription services, subtitling, telephone interpreting, telemarketing, proofreading, editing and transcreation.
Korean culture can be difficult for westerners to navigate, which means localisation is a critical factor in ensuring translated text is fit for your target audience. Our Korean translators are experienced in adapting messaging to ensure we provide our clients with high-performance content that resonates and engages with Korean-speaking audiences.
Upon meeting a Korean for the first time, they will most likely ask you your age as well as your marital status. Although this is considered rude in Western countries, it is important for Koreans so that they know which verb endings, nouns and particles to use when speaking to you.
Most Koreans learn American English and so any foreign brands that have been written in the Korean alphabet (called “hangul”) are written with American English vowels. For example, McDonalds is written as “mekdonalds” to mimic the American “A” sound. This sometimes makes it difficult for British English speakers to identify the brand.
Koreans refer to South Korea as “our country” rather than just “Korea”. This is a reflection of the Neo-Confucian philosophy that was the state ideology during the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1897). It creates a feeling that South Korea is “one family” and “one people”.
When meeting Koreans in person, it is polite to bow to elders and to new acquaintances. Hugging and kissing is a no-no. It’s common for men to shake hands upon meeting, but don’t expect a good firm handshake as with some other cultures. It’s more of a long, limp affair.
Korean’s honorific system is complex and uses different verb endings and even vocabulary. Depending on who you are speaking to in terms of their age as well as cultural standing and seniority in the workplace, it all affects the linguistic system employed.
Korean is spoken by around 72 million people and is said to be one of the most difficult languages for English speakers to learn. This is mainly due to the word order, complex honorific system, case clitics (commonly known as “particles”) and agglutinative word endings.
Korean is closest to Japanese in terms of grammar. It belongs to the Altaic language family, meaning it’s related to Turkish, Mongolian and Manchu in China.
Korean is often considered a very difficult language to translate. This is because of the linguistic style and the fact that Korean is context-based and so can often be open to interpretation. Translated literally, it can make very little sense to a non-Korean speaker, which makes it difficult to understand.
Korean is spoken in both North and South Korea, although dialects do vary. There are also large Korean-speaking communities in bordering regions of China, parts of Japan and areas of the former Soviet Union.
South Korean industry is dominated by its electronics industry, being the world’s biggest producer of semiconductors. Korea is also highly active in the following industry types:
Speak to one of our Korean language experts today to find out how we can help you with your Korean translation and transcreation needs.